A lot has been said about the importance of keywords in domain names, and looking at certain search results one would say that some domains composed of only keyword combinations prove this theory. But with many examples that would prove the contrary, so what’s the
truth behind it?
There are two different approaches when registering a domain name – one is to choose a brandable name and the other one is to choose a domain made out of keywords. While keyword stuffing i.e. my-domain-full-of-keywords.com has little SEO benefit, domains that are composed of a commonly searched phrase have been known to be very successful – often dramatically increasing the price of these domains.
One of the reasons why these domains were so successful is that most incoming links would include important keywords in their anchor text – with these keywords in the domain name, someone who uses the domain name to link to the site will be automatically using important keywords.
But rumors have started spreading around the web saying that Google is looking at diminishing the importance of keywords present in the domain name when it comes to ranking a page. These rumors started after Matt Cutts posted a video on the importance of keywords in the domain name. Towards the end of the video Matt mentions that several people have complained that Google gives too much weight to the keywords in the domain name and that Google is reviewing it.
Google’s latest updates are doing exactly that, by giving more
and more importance to the quality of the content as they did with the latest Farmer/Panda update.
Is it worth getting a keyword rich domain?
The answer is no if you do not intend to develop the content of the domain and create a brand around it, because in spite of the link building benefits of
a keyword rich domain, unless you have useful content your site will eventually get relegated to low rankings; whereas if you choose a brandable name and create content that is useful and compelling your site will be more likely to rank higher.
See Matt Cutts talking about keywords in the domain name in this video